Thursday, June 2, 2011

How Not to Get into Medical School

You want to go to medical school but are concerned that you might not do well on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). What should you do?

a. Study hard
b. Choose another career
c. Concoct an elaborate plan to transmit real-time photos of the exam questions to a confederate who has duped three people into thinking they are auditioning for jobs as MCAT prep tutors. Have the confederate supply you with the consensus answers that the tutors come up with via a phone link. Do not worry that the tutors might become suspicious because the images of the questions are fuzzy, they are allowed to discuss the questions and your friend has to periodically leave the room to call you with the suggested answers.

As difficult as it is to believe, someone chose “c” and was caught when the tutors reported their suspicions to university security.

This episode raises a few questions. It occurred in late January of 2011 but has only come to light in the last 48 hours. What took so long? What sort of proctoring was taking place in the examination room? Apparently, no one noticed the camera, the transmitter or the phone being used by the examinee. What did the cheaters expect to accomplish? OK, the examinee might be admitted to medical school, but what was in it for the accomplice? A job in the doctor’s office some day? If the scheme worked and he was admitted to a medical school, how was he planning to get through even the first two years? To arrange a complex set-up like this for every test would have been quite a challenge indeed.

Another concise yet thorough report of this debacle is available here.

What have we learned from all this? I’d say it’s that there is no limit to the stupidity of man. What do you say?


Christopher Bayne said...

We've learned to hire tutors who are in on the scheme!

Chris Porter MD said...

Creative, if not very street smart. I'm optimistic that, in a structured environment, this duo will have career options.

Libby said...

quite the problem solver...middle management material perhaps?

ps. re: the link--my reading Chinese is quite weak so had to go by your version :o)

MiaSolo said...

it is really just not that serious

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Thanks for the comments.


You passed the test. I put the Chinese link in to see if anyone really bothers to click on links. Also, I liked that it had the names in English and everything else was Chinese.


I'm not sure what you mean. Was the scheme not that serious (if so, I disagree) or was it my blog (not meant to be serious)?

Obsinguod said...

Let's see, three dupes plus the proctors, the lenswork care of someone shopping at Pervert Camera Outlet; hospitaler. To stress the limit of stupidity the cohort would have to have traded clothes with a fourth dupe and run and/or the candidate (...) have quietly (or with accommodation for help) consumed the camera.

Alternately, it would be serious when classes, labs, clinic, advisor appointments etc. are all phoned in. Surely after passing the MCAT they'd throw down for an ASIMO that could make passable knots, palp, handle a bone saw, spinal manipulation, emergency tracheotomy, keep a charge 30 hours, etc?

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